The passing trains weren’t the only things rumbling beneath the Manhattan Bridge at the third annual Red Bull Manny Mania contest in New York City on June 7. Thousands of skateboard fans of all ages turned out to see a heated contest that saw local Eli Reed take home the prize.
New Yorker Eli Reed won the Red Bull Manny Mania contest beating 30 other top skaters from around the globe on a perfect summer-like day on June 7. Top skateboarders from as far as Austria, France and Brazil descended upon Manhattan to entertain the crowd with an intense skateboard contest and a block-party environment that included DJing by music luminary Bobbito Garcia and of course, an Italian ice machine.
The economically-friendly contest was free to the public, and for Reed it turned out to be a personal stimulus package – he will take home US$10,000 for his two-wheeled efforts. He already has plans for his earnings, proclaiming ‘I’m going to Hawaii!’ from the ramp. Last year, skateboarding pro Joey Brezinski repeated his title as the Manny champ, but this year was certain to have a new victor, as Brezinski finished just outside the top three.
The finals saw crowd favourite Mike Mo Capaldi battle Reed and Kelly Hart in a seven-minute manual battle royale. Mike Mo got people cheering with a half cab manny backside flip and a tre flip manny over the euro gap. But Reed sealed the deal with his backflip to manny to front board on the rail and a backside 180 fakie manny big spin out. The finalists were awarded custom-made championship belts for surviving the battle.
In its third year, Red Bull Manny Mania showcased more pros and involved bigger names as the Skateboard Weekend progressed to a four-day affair. Skate scene legends Jeff Pang and Dave Ortiz returned to MC the event and four East Coast skateboard talents served as judges: Dan Pensyl, Ricky Oyola, Zoo York’s Donny Barley and Queens native Rodney Torres. Skate legends including Chad Muska and Steve Olson watched the action along with the fans. Based on the simple balancing manual trick, Red Bull Manny Mania awards the most creative and most technical skaters. This year it is Eli Reed who can claim he’s the best two-wheel talent, proving it right in his backyard.